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Mice Lacking Endoglin in Macrophages Show an Impaired Immune Response.
ABSTRACT: Endoglin is an auxiliary receptor for members of the TGF-? superfamily and plays an important role in the homeostasis of the vessel wall. Mutations in endoglin gene (ENG) or in the closely related TGF-? receptor type I ACVRL1/ALK1 are responsible for a rare dominant vascular dysplasia, the Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT), or Rendu-Osler-Weber syndrome. Endoglin is also expressed in human macrophages, but its role in macrophage function remains unknown. In this work, we show that endoglin expression is triggered during the monocyte-macrophage differentiation process, both in vitro and during the in vivo differentiation of blood monocytes recruited to foci of inflammation in wild-type C57BL/6 mice. To analyze the role of endoglin in macrophages in vivo, an endoglin myeloid lineage specific knock-out mouse line (Eng(fl/fl)LysMCre) was generated. These mice show a predisposition to develop spontaneous infections by opportunistic bacteria. Eng(fl/fl)LysMCre mice also display increased survival following LPS-induced peritonitis, suggesting a delayed immune response. Phagocytic activity is impaired in peritoneal macrophages, altering one of the main functions of macrophages which contributes to the initiation of the immune response. We also observed altered expression of TGF-?1 target genes in endoglin deficient peritoneal macrophages. Overall, the altered immune activity of endoglin deficient macrophages could help to explain the higher rate of infectious diseases seen in HHT1 patients.
Project description:To identify mutations that cause hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT, or Rendu-Osler-Weber syndrome), clinical evaluations and genetic studies were performed on 32 families. Linkage studies in four of eight families indicated an endoglin (ENG) gene mutation. ENG sequences of affected members of the four linked families and probands from the 24 small families were screened for mutations, by Southern blot analyses and by cycle sequencing of PCR-amplified DNA. Seven novel mutations were identified in eight families. Two mutations (a termination codon in exon 4 and a large genomic deletion extending 3' of intron 8) did not produce a stable ENG transcript in lymphocytes. Five other mutations (two donor splice-site mutations and three deletions) produce altered mRNAs that are predicted to encode markedly truncated ENG proteins. Mutations in other families are predicted to lie in ENG-regulatory regions or in one of the additional genes that may cause HHT. These data suggest that the molecular mechanism by which ENG mutations cause HHT is haploinsufficiency. Furthermore, because the clinical manifestation of disease in these eight families was similar, we hypothesize that phenotypic variation of HHT is not related to a particular ENG mutation.
Project description:Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), also known as Rendu-Osler-Weber syndrome, is an autosomal dominant disorder which is clinically characterised by recurrent epistaxis, mucocutaneous telangiectasia and visceral arteriovenous malformations. Genetic linkage studies identified two genes primarily related to HHT: endoglin (ENG) on chromosome 9q33-34 and activin receptor-like kinase1 (ACVRL1) on chromosome 12q13. We have screened a total of 41 unselected German patients with the suspected diagnosis of HHT. Mutation analysis for the ENG and ACVRL1 genes in all patients was performed by PCR amplification. Sequences were then compared to the HHT database http://www.hhtmutation.org sequences of the ENG mRNA (accession no. BC014271.2) and the ACVRL1 mRNA (accession no. NM000020.1).We identified 15 different mutations in 18 cases by direct sequencing. Among these mutations, one novel ENG mutation could be detected which has not yet been described in the literature before. The genotype-phenotype correlation was consistent with a higher frequency of pulmonary arteriovenous malformations in patients with ENG mutations than in patients with ACVRL1 mutations in our collective.For rapid genotyping of mutations and SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) in ENG and ACVRL1, allele-specific PCR methods with sequence-specific primers (PCR-SSP) were established and their value analysed.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), also known as Rendu-Osler-Weber syndrome, is a rare disorder characterized by recurrent epistaxis, telangiectasias and systemic arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). HHT is associated with mutations in genes encoding for proteins involved in endothelial homeostasis such as ENG (endoglin) and ACVRL1 (activin receptor-like kinase-1). CASE PRESENTATION:Here we describe a 22-year-old male presenting with a transient episode of slurred speech and left arm paresis. Brain MRI displayed polymicrogyria. A right-to-left shunt in absence of an atrial septum defect was noted. Chest CT revealed multiple pulmonary AVMs, likely causing paradoxical embolism manifesting as a transient ischemic attack. The heterozygous ENG variant, c.3G?>?A (p.Met1lle), was detected in the patient. This variant was also found in patient's mother and in his younger brother who displayed cortical dysplasia type 2. CONCLUSIONS:The detection of cortical development malformations in multiple subjects from the same pedigree may expand the phenotypic features of ENG-related HHT patients. We suggest considering HHT in young patients presenting with acute cerebral ischemic events of unknown origin.
Project description:The hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia syndrome (HHT), also known as the Rendu-Osler-Weber syndrome is a multiorganic vascular disorder inherited as an autosomal dominant trait. Diagnostic clinical criteria include: epistaxis, telangiectases in mucocutaneous and gastrointestinal sites, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) most commonly found in pulmonary, hepatic and cerebral circulations, and familial inheritance. HHT is transmitted in 90% of the cases as an autosomal dominant condition due to mutations in either endoglin (ENG), or activin receptor-like kinase 1 (ACVRL1/ALK1) genes (HHT type 1 and 2, respectively).We have carried out a genetic analysis of four independent Spanish families with HHT clinical criteria, which has permitted the identification of new large deletions in ENG. These mutations were first detected using the MLPA technique and subsequently, the deletion breakpoints were mapped using a customized copy number variation (CNV) microarray. The array was designed to cover the ENG gene and surrounding areas.All tested families carried large deletions ranging from 3-kb to 100-kb, involving the ENG gene promoter, several ENG exons, and the two downstream genes FGSH and CDK9. Interestingly, common breakpoints coincident with Alu repetitive sequences were found among these families.The systematic hybridization of DNA from HHT families, with deletions or duplications, to custom designed microarrays, could allow the mapping of breakpoints, coincident with repetitive Alu sequences that might act as "hot spots" in the development of chromosomal anomalies.
Project description:Injury of the liver involves a wound healing partial reaction governed by hepatic stellate cells and portal fibroblasts. Individual members of the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) superfamily including TGF-β itself and bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP) exert diverse and partially opposing effects on pro-fibrogenic responses. Signaling by these ligands is mediated through binding to membrane integral receptors type I/type II. Binding and the outcome of signaling is critically modulated by Endoglin (Eng), a type III co-receptor. In order to learn more about trafficking of Eng in liver cells, we investigated the membranal subdomain localization of full-length (FL)-Eng. We could show that FL-Eng is enriched in Caveolin-1-containing sucrose gradient fractions. Since lipid rafts contribute to the pool of exosomes, we could consequently demonstrate for the first time that exosomes isolated from cultured primary hepatic stellate cells and its derivatives contain Eng. Moreover, via adenoviral overexpression, we demonstrate that all liver cells have the capacity to direct Eng to exosomes, irrespectively whether they express endogenous Eng or not. Finally, we demonstrate that block of N-glycosylation does not interfere with dimerization of the receptor, but abrogates the secretion of soluble Eng (sol-Eng) and prevents exosomal targeting of FL-Eng.
Project description:Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT), also known as Rendu-Osler syndrome, is a genetic vascular disorder affecting 1 in 5000-8000 individuals worldwide. This rare disease is characterized by various vascular defects including epistaxis, blood vessel dilations (telangiectasia) and arteriovenous malformations (AVM) in several organs. About 90% of the cases are associated with heterozygous mutations of ACVRL1 or ENG genes, that respectively encode a bone morphogenetic protein receptor (activin receptor-like kinase 1, ALK1) and a co-receptor named endoglin. Less frequent mutations found in the remaining 10% of patients also affect the gene SMAD4 which is part of the transcriptional complex directly activated by this pathway. Presently, the therapeutic treatments for HHT are intended to reduce the symptoms of the disease. However, recent progress has been made using drugs that target VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) and the angiogenic pathway with the use of bevacizumab (anti-VEGF antibody). Furthermore, several exciting high-throughput screenings and preclinical studies have identified new molecular targets directly related to the signaling pathways affected in the disease. These include FKBP12, PI3-kinase and angiopoietin-2. This review aims at reporting these recent developments that should soon allow a better care of HHT patients.
Project description:Patients with hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT, or Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome) have variable presentation patterns and a high risk of preventable complications. Diagnostic tests for mutations in endoglin (HHT type 1) and ALK-1 (HHT type 2) are available. Some HHT patients are now known to have HHT-juvenile polyposis overlap syndrome due to Smad4 mutations. Families were ascertained following the presentation of probands for embolization of pulmonary arteriovenous malformations. Genome-wide linkage studies using over 700 polymorphic markers, and sequencing of candidate genes, were performed. In a previously described HHT family unlinked to endoglin or ALK-1, linkage to Smad4 was excluded, and no mutations were identified in the endoglin, ALK-1, or Smad4 genes. Two point LOD scores and recombination mapping identified a 5.4 cM HHT3 disease gene interval on chromosome 5 in which a single haplotype was inherited by all affected members of the pedigree. The remainder of the genome was excluded to a 2-5 cM resolution. We are currently studying a further family potentially linked to HHT3. We conclude that classical HHT with pulmonary involvement can result from mutations in an unidentified gene on chromosome 5. Identification of HHT3 should further illuminate HHT pathogenic mechanisms in which aberrant transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta signalling is implicated.
Project description:Endoglin (Eng) is an auxiliary receptor for transforming growth factor-? (TGF?), with important roles in vascular function. TGF? regulates angiogenesis through balancing the pro-proliferative and pro-differentiation signaling pathways of endothelial cells (EC). However, the contribution of endoglin to these TGF? activities, and more specifically modulation of EC phenotype, remains elusive. Mutations in endoglin cause hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia-1 in humans. The Eng+/- mice are viable and exhibit some of the vascular defects seen in humans with endoglin haploinsufficiency. In the present study we show that haploinsufficiency of endoglin results in attenuation of retinal neovascularization during oxygen-induced ischemic retinopathy. Although the importance of endoglin expression in angiogenesis and vascular development has been demonstrated, the underlying mechanisms remain obscure. To gain detailed insight into the cell autonomous regulatory mechanisms that affect angiogenic properties of EC, we prepared retinal EC from Eng+/+ and Eng+/- Immorto mice. The Eng+/- EC were more adherent, less migratory, and failed to undergo capillary morphogenesis. Aortic sprouting angiogenesis was similarly attenuated in aortas from Eng+/- mice. In addition, Eng+/- EC expressed increased levels of VEGF but reduced expression of endothelial NO synthase and NO production. Mechanistically, these changes were consistent with sustained activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways, and aberrant Smad-dependent signaling pathways in Eng+/- EC. Taken together, our results underscore the importance of endoglin in both canonical and non-canonical TGF? signaling pathways modulating both the activation and quiescence of the endothelium during angiogenesis.
Project description:AIMS:Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia type-1 (HHT1) is a genetic vascular disorder caused by haploinsufficiency of the TGF? co-receptor endoglin. Dysfunctional homing of HHT1 mononuclear cells (MNCs) towards the infarcted myocardium hampers cardiac recovery. HHT1-MNCs have elevated expression of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP4/CD26), which inhibits recruitment of CXCR4-expressing MNCs by inactivation of stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF1). We hypothesize that inhibiting DPP4 will restore homing of HHT1-MNCs to the infarcted heart and improve cardiac recovery. METHODS AND RESULTS:After inducing myocardial infarction (MI), wild type (WT) and endoglin heterozygous (Eng+/-) mice were treated for 5 days with the DPP4 inhibitor Diprotin A (DipA). DipA increased the number of CXCR4+ MNCs residing in the infarcted Eng+/- hearts (Eng+/- 73.17±12.67 vs. Eng+/- treated 157.00±11.61, P = 0.0003) and significantly reduced infarct size (Eng+/- 46.60±9.33% vs. Eng+/- treated 27.02±3.04%, P = 0.03). Echocardiography demonstrated that DipA treatment slightly deteriorated heart function in Eng+/- mice. An increased number of capillaries (Eng+/- 61.63±1.43 vs. Eng+/- treated 74.30±1.74, P = 0.001) were detected in the infarct border zone whereas the number of arteries was reduced (Eng+/- 11.88±0.63 vs. Eng+/- treated 6.38±0.97, P = 0.003). Interestingly, while less M2 regenerative macrophages were present in Eng+/- hearts prior to DipA treatment, (WT 29.88±1.52% vs. Eng+/- 12.34±1.64%, P<0.0001), DPP4 inhibition restored the number of M2 macrophages to wild type levels. CONCLUSIONS:In this study, we demonstrate that systemic DPP4 inhibition restores the impaired MNC homing in Eng+/- animals post-MI, and enhances cardiac repair, which might be explained by restoring the balance between the inflammatory and regenerative macrophages present in the heart.
Project description:Liver fibrosis is the outcome of chronic liver injury. Transforming growth factor-? (TGF-?) is a major profibrogenic cytokine modulating hepatic stellate cell (HSC) activation and extracellular matrix homeostasis. This study analyses the effect of Endoglin (Eng), a TGF-? type III auxiliary receptor, on fibrogenesis in two models of liver injury by HSC-specific endoglin deletion.Eng expression was measured in human and murine samples of liver injury. After generating GFAPCre(+) Eng?HSC mice, the impact of Endoglin deletion on chronic liver fibrosis was analysed. For in vitro analysis, Engflox/flox HSCs were infected with Cre-expressing virus to deplete Endoglin and fibrogenic responses were analysed.Endoglin is upregulated in human liver injury. The receptor is expressed in liver tissues and mesenchymal liver cells with much higher abundance of the L-Eng splice variant. Comparing GFAPCre(-) Engf/f to GFAPCre(+) Eng?HSC mice in toxic liver injury, livers of GFAPCre(+) Eng?HSC mice showed 39.9% (P < .01) higher Hydroxyproline content compared to GFAPCre(-) Engf/f littermates. Sirius Red staining underlined these findings, showing 58.8% (P < .05) more Collagen deposition in livers of GFAPCre(+) Eng?HSC mice. Similar results were obtained in mice subjected to cholestatic injury.Endoglin isoforms are differentially upregulated in liver samples of patients with chronic and acute liver injury. Endoglin deficiency in HSC significantly aggravates fibrosis in response to injury in two different murine models of liver fibrosis and increases ?-SMA and fibronectin expression in vitro. This suggests that Endoglin protects against fibrotic injury, likely through modulation of TGF-? signalling.